BYOD is an acronym for “Bring Your Own Device”, in other words – using your own technology for work purposes.
The workplace is changing and the tools we use to work are changing. Gone are the days when employees will quietly accept whatever hardware the IT department has provided.
Many of us are now using our own smart phones and tablets for work purposes making BYOD commonplace. People are working more of the time, at times that suit them and with devices they like. Boundaries between work and home life are becoming more blurred and many welcome the flexibility this brings (e.g. working parents).
A recent Fortinet survey of young ‘20 something’ workers asked their attitudes about BYOD policies. More than half view it as their ‘right’ to use their own mobile devices at work, rather than BYOD being just a ‘privilege’. Digital natives expect to be able to use their own choice of technology, sometimes using several devices and expecting them to operate seamlessly at work.
From their perspective, the primary driver is that they can constantly access their preferred applications, especially social media. 35% admitted they could not go a day without accessing social networks and 47% unable to last a day without SMS. Recent research by HP showed that a similar study group of digital natives were texting over 4,000 times a month.
Digital immigrants, those less willing to use social media and new technologies, often struggle to grasp these concepts and the ways in which the younger generations are working. And the next generation will demand even more flexibility. It won’t be long until they are running our companies and boardrooms. Some already are.
Some IT departments hoped that BYOD would disappear. It is becoming apparent that it is here to stay and brings about a new way of thinking. Instead of each device being a corporate asset, which the company has complete control of, the new way of thinking is that each device is an enabler for employees to become more efficient and work anywhere. Clearly there are issues that need to be addressed such as security and legal compliance.
A lot of companies are using the Olympics as a trial run to test more flexible working and BYOD. This provides a great opportunity for new ways of working and making sure the system is engineered correctly.
Over the coming weeks I will be writing more about BYOD, focussing on the benefits and challenges and the key to implementing BYOD successfully.